What is Consent?
Consent is the voluntary, affirmative, and freely-given agreement, through words and/ or actions in reference to sexual and non-sexual physical touch.
Consent Looks Like:
- Confirming that there is reciprocal interest before initiating any physical touch.
- Letting your partner know that you can stop at any time.
- Periodically checking in with your partner, such as asking “Is this still okay?” And receiving clear confirmation that your partner wants to continue.
- Providing positive feedback when you’re comfortable with an activity.
- Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m comfortable with that.”
- Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable.
Reduce Your Risk of Committing Sexual Misconduct:
- Always clearly communicate your intentions AND give others a chance to clearly communicate their intentions to you.
- If they say “no” or give any other verbal or non-verbal indication that they do not want physical contact. Stop Immediately.
- Respect personal boundaries. If the person says they are uncomfortable with your actions, stop what you are doing and respect their decision.
- Mixed messages, silence, or stillness, are a clear indication that you should stop your actions.
- Avoid ambiguity. Just ask. Do not make assumptions about consent, about whether someone is attracted to you, or how far you can go with that person. If you have questions or are unclear, you do not have consent.
How Substance Abuse Affects Consent
Alcohol and other drugs complicate consent because:
- They impair our judgment
- They affect our capacity to communicate
- They impact our ability to read and interpret others’ communication
If the other person is unable to give informed consent, meaning they are incapable of giving an audible and clear approval for what you are about to partake in, you do not have consent.
On average, at least 50% of college students’ sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use – Antonia Abbey P.H.D
Visit our page on how Substance Abuse is Linked to Sexual Assault
Disclosure Statement– While Liberty University’s expectation is for all students to abstain from sexual activity outside of a biblically ordained marriage, the University recognizes that sexual activity does occur within this community. To keep our campus safe and work to prevent sexual misconduct from occurring, everyone must understand the importance of consent within every type of relationship.
For more information on consent, please see Liberty’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.